The Australian Health News Research Collaboration

Simon Chapman and Ross MacKenzie
Med J Aust 2007; 186 (6): . || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2007.tb00922.x
Published online: 19 March 2007

To the Editor: The enormous influence of the news media on health issues is widely acknowledged,1 and health and medicine rank among the most frequent topics covered.2,3 This influence extends from the setting of personal health agendas to shaping public health policy. Health and medical agencies have an obvious interest in how their areas of concern are depicted, and health interest groups can use the news media as a means of influencing government policy and legislation.

  • School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW.

  • 1. Moynihan R, Bero L, Ross-Degnan D, et al. Coverage by the news media of the benefits and risks of medications. N Engl J Med 2000; 342: 1645-1650.
  • 2. Chapman S, Lupton D. Freaks, moral tales and medical marvels: health and medical stories in a week of Australian television. Media Information Australia 1994; 72: 94-103.
  • 3. Henningham J. Looking at television news. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire, 1988.
  • 4. Australian Film Commission. Free-to-air television: trends and issues. 2005. (accessed 19 Dec 2006).
  • 5. Chapman S, McLeod K, Wakefield M, Holding S. Impact of news of celebrity illness on breast cancer screening: Kylie Minogue’s breast cancer diagnosis. Med J Aust 2005; 183: 247-250. <MJA full text>


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